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Day one of my new life.  I’m not making any decisions, just taking it one day at a time.  I’ve decided to concentrate on me and me only for at least the next 30 days.  I’m not sure how the rest of my life will unfold, but I can’t imagine what is in store for me that far in the future.  I’m concentrating on my nose for the moment.  I am discovering smells.  I find that I remember the smell of Ranch Dressing and carrots.  I can’t eat them yet but I’m sure one day......  Still extremely sleepy and my energy level is low but I'm just rushing things as I know my taste buds will take at least 6 months to fully come back.  I guess I was hoping that I would have a miraculous recovery and just wake up today and taste everything.  When I'm asleep I dream I'm eating and wake up and could almost taste it.  But, I try and swallow and the cotton dryness snaps me back to reality.  My Mom, God bless her is trying real hard to make food appetizing so I don't go below 117lbs.  I try not to loose patience with her because I know she means well but one taste of the food and my stomach turns and I feel the bile rising. I did make a breakthrough this evening and tried to eat 6 carrots.  Gee, that sounds ridiculous.  Imagine getting excited about eating 6 small baby carrots.  They tasted horrible but I knew I had to take the first baby steps toward waking up my stomach acids and at least I had something on my stomach.   I must pray and ask for patience to get through this trial how ever long it will take.  To top things off I can't sleep because I received 2 needle shots today from my primary care physician.  One for the flu and the other for pneumonia.  Both arms hurt and Tylenol is not helping.  Oh well one day this to shall pass.

Day 2- Friday 10-10-08.  2 days after my last treatment.  I fell asleep around 6pm much to my dismay.  This will mean I will be up late tonight.  However, thank goodness for my web friends like this website.  I am not a big TV watcher so I will not have to flip the channels until 2am if I just flip through this interesting website.  My cousin made chocolate chip cookies thinking I could be enticed to eat. They smelled so good but I was afraid to try them.  Food is still touch and go now and I do not want to spoil my memories by rushing anything.  It is so frustrating to smell but not taste it.  I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I did sit on my porch and feel the October breeze on my face.  It was wonderful and the smells of my state were very calming.  I'm probably going to be headed to NY next week as my hubby has to spend 5 weeks in Mississippi for a military drill.  I would prefer not to be alone right now.  Although I don't want to run into any old friends from my youth while in Rego Park, Queens.  However, maybe it will not be too bad.  On second thought I think I'll hide out with my sister in New Jersey instead.  At least I will not have to duck anybody.

Day 4- Sunday 10-12-08.
I went to IHOP for their strawberry pancakes today.  Well, it wasn't bad.....but it wasn't great.  I could smell it and that is all that counts. I tried their western omelet with green peppers, onion and cheese (cheddar of course).  After 3 bites I had had enough.  But hey it's more food then I've eaten in the past 8 weeks.  I'm still keeping track of foods I can smell and therefore eat.  This week it's oranges with hot sauce and sauerkraut.  I'm ecstatic and counting the day's not months until I can taste again.  The doctors tell me it will take 6 months to a year.  I'm sorry but that is not acceptable.  The warrior princess cannot accept that timeline.  I'm giving it another 2 weeks top.  I'm going to a buffet next Sunday and will have a little bit of everything.  If that doesn't work I'm going to sit on the floor in front of my fridge and taste everything inside until something tickles my fancy.

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Wednesday 10-15-08

Had to be rushed to the hospital today.  My digestive tract was causing me to vomit everything I ate.  I was dehydrated and required an IV.  They had the darnest time finding one as I did not realize that water in the body enables the blood cells to fatten up.  Oh...they gave me a needle.  I hate needles. I had a morphine drip for the pain and that was the highlight of my day.  I was given a prescription to bring home in case the pain returned.  

Can’t a girl catch a break?  I can’t wait till this is a distant memory in my head.  Had to move my NY trip out another week until my Primary care can give me the green light to travel.
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Saturday, 10-18-08

Great Day!  Walked around outside today and got some air.  The walking was slow but sure and I loved the feel of the blades of grass on my toes.  Tomorrow I am going to attempt going to Church.  I miss my church and the sounds of the choir.  Can't wait to hear God's word in stereo.  After Church we will even go to IHOP's.  I plan on trying something new and pray I taste at least a little bit.  On second thought I’ll be happy just to smell it.  I should probably stop setting myself up for failure by expecting my current health status to change.  I know my doctor said it can take up to 6 months to get back my taste buds.  But, the worst part is that it may never come back.  I must tell myself that this will not happen because it makes looking at my future unbearable.  I know God did not bring me this far to leave me now.  I was privileged to see the rainbow so now I must wait patiently for my pot of gold at the other side.

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Thursday 10-23-08
Today I received a newsletter email from Fab40. How cool was that. That was the first good news I had today. Then my mom surprised me and stated that she was going to drive me to see my beloved son tomorrow. Oh! Be still my heart. I do not know how I’m going to sleep tonight. In the past, I would have had a nice glass of wine to settle the nerves and soak in the tub to ease my aching bones. But, alas not today. I guess my fab40 friends will be stuck with me today as I lurk in the corner enjoying reading all the wonderful blogs and responding when I think I have something interesting to contribute. Every day I feel myself gaining more of my old self back and my mom has commented that I'm getting better because I have the energy to argue with her on little things like what to have for breakfast. My mom believes that grits and eggs can cure anything. Oh do not let me forget the mint tea. Ugh! I can't find a word in the English language that could adequately describe the taste of this mixture in my mouth. Trust me when I tell you that it would not be a nice word. However, my mom is right. I have to wake up my digestive system as I have been eating like a bird for 8 weeks. While, my sister tells me I have the bikini body I always wanted I think I could have gotten it at a much lesser price then the one I paid. Food still has no taste and I will keep my fab40 friends updated so when I do finally taste something I will write in all caps
Eureka!!

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Friday 10-24-08

I’m so excited I have been up since 7am.  Today is the day I see my baby.  Well actually he is not my baby he is my son but....I’m sure all mommies will agree that our children never grow up in our eyes.  I went shopping yesterday and brought nick knacks like brooms, mops dishwashing detergent.....  The list goes on and on.  When I get to Charlotte I am going to stop by Harris Teeter and pick up food because I'm sure he has run out.  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures so you all can share in the mania and laughs.  My baby is a comedian and always manages to make me laugh till my sides hurt.  I could use that so much right now. I think I'll wear my Whitney Houston wig.  I promise to take a picture so everyone can see.  I have been reluctant to show you because I'm a little uncomfortable with this wig thing.  I have never been bald in my life and it seems phony to wear the wig even though it does help keep my head warm. Well gotta go hit the shower.  I don't have any hair to wash so this should be a quickie.

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Sunday 10-26-08

I must apologize to everyone as I messed up the date and time stamp. My husband brought the camera so I could keep a photo diary of my cancer journey and I never read the instructions. I promise I’ll read the booklet first thing tomorrow.  

I just posted my pictures of my day with my Son.    Every time I see him, I am reminded that I made this bundle of energy and every magical thing he does and everyone he touches is a gift to me.  It is a testament to my love as a mother that formed this kind and caring individual.  I was so excited to see him that I did all the driving to Charlotte because my Mom drives as if she is going to Church. Now don't get me wrong, I am not advocating speeding but you know how it is.  I needed to see my baby and once I was committed to the trip I wanted to get there already.  So I grabbed my trusty Garmin and off we went.  It spent six blissful hours with him and I would have spent the night but I did not want to cramp the young men's plans.  They had a party to attend that night and the trip was sort of spur of the moment.  They all said my Mom and I could stay but I could tell they were just being polite.  My son took me to some Buffalo wings restaurant that allows its patron's to play poker while you eat.  I lost every hand because I was not concentrating.  Normally I am a Texas Hold' Em queen and can beat the socks off anybody.  I was also trying to eat my lunch.  Food still has no taste for me and my saliva glands are not operational so eating is not my favorite bodily function.  My son say's I need to eat more and promises to assist the family this Thanksgiving by making sure they cook all of my favorite foods.  We plan to spend Thanksgiving in NY and will take the whole week off from work.  My family is shocked, as in the past this workaholic would never take the holidays off.  I was always work, work, work and no play.  While I enjoy my job, I have come to realize that I was not taking the time to smell the roses.  If cancer did anything, it made me love life more then I love my work.  Time spent with family and friends is priceless and a once in a lifetime event that can never be repeated.  I am sure my job will get along just fine without me for a few days but my family needs me and more importantly, I need them.  That is the take away message my illness has given me so in a strange sort of way it came at the right time.  Life was passing me by and I was missing it because I got the important things mixed up.  My priorities were in the wrong place and career woman that I am I did not even see it.  Thank you God for opening my eyes!  I wonder what plans he has for me next.  I'll just wait and see.

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